Ohhh… did you want to hear about that drop in class I had on the 15th?
I got there half an hour early. It was hot, and I signed up for my drop in. I stretched and marveled at the class photos in their silly costumes. I swear all the studios in the area are magically linked in costumes and performance themes.
So two older ladies dropped in 5 min before class. They were very sweet and very welcoming. Introducing themselves instead of just looking at me and continuing on. They involved me in conversation, how lovely! I love that. They did ask how long I had been dancing, and I’m sure because I am in my 20s that I looked more experienced. I admitted I had only been at it for the last two and a half years.
Entering class, I noticed there wasn’t much space. Sigh… I took up at the barre where I could see myself in the mirror from the side. The other ladies took place along the barre with their back or front faced the mirror. We started doing some foot warm ups facing the barre. That was pleasant. After being off from ballet for a week re-working my foot muscles in a slow movement was best. It was simply wonderful to just move like that again. Working on turn out from the hips, rotating ankles, pointing toes, such simple and complex things work you just the right way. We did our plies, starting with two grand plies and a demi from second. Then moved through first, fourth, and fifth.
Did a classic dégagé exercise facing the barre with 8L 8R 4L 4R 2L 2R 1R 1L 1R 1L , repeat with other foot starting. I love watching peoples brains work this out when they’re beginning. There’s always pause and hesitation. Also speed is slower. I wish I could let them know it’s okay to take it at a slower speed. It’s not a race, and using those muscles will soon come to you no problem. That was always a frustrating thing about beginning as an adult. Your body wouldn’t respond as fast as your mind.
We did a few things with frappés and it was nice because I’m AWFUL at frappés but they were very basic so I was actually too fast when I did my beats. I could tell I was out of shape because I was bashing my ankles together instead of a more controlled beat. All I could think was “ouch, ouch, ouch” lol. I practiced my new foot placement and balance in sous sus. Working on that beveling. Since barre work was more simple I was able to concentrate really on my turn out and utilizing my muscles and creating that strong inward pull. I recognized my abducting ability isn’t very strong and very weak. So I thought about that when I did my dégagés and other exercises to utilize my inner thighs.
Things started to get a little more complex for the regulars. We did pas de bourrees at the barre. Painfully slow PDBs lol. I’m used to this though because of teaching the little girls, so it really wasn’t a problem. I just concentrated on pointing my toes between movements. It got more complicated by tombé-ing, pdb x 2 and close 5th, repeat with other foot I believe. I could be wrong in my numbers. Then passé, fourth, relevé passé. Which later we turned into a pirouette. Which I hate doing at the barre because I’m afraid to smack my knee. I couldn’t tell if my leg was turned out I was focused too much on the corrections I received at SKD about my arms and back during pirouttes class.
We did a barre stretch which was nice and then after barre stretch I think we moved to center. Which always everyone is nervous. I forgot to mention that a person dropped in after plies. She was a little more advanced than the other two ladies. Oh we did some more things before center. We did battements that included passes and cloches which was fun. Really good exercises to open up the hip first before doing your battements.
Center though we did more PDB like we did at the barre, and balances. The teacher did her balances quasi, which was kinda weird at first, but you adapt. Our arm movements went across the chest, not like past mid line or anything, just in out in out. We did some petit allegro and some grand allegro but because of the shape of the room and it’s size I couldn’t do much diagonally at all. Least of all landing the saut de chat at the end. Abuuuuuuu 😦
It was fun, great exercises. I’m happy to have returned so long and still get good sweat from her class. So I’ll be going back next Monday with my friend.